AIADMK Deputy General Secretary T T V Dinakaran today claimed that the 'two leaves' symbol belongs to his faction and that he would file the nomination for the R K Nagar constituency on March 23. "The 'two leaves' symbol belongs to the AIADMK led by Amma (the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa) and (party founder) Puratchi Thalaivar M G Ramachandran. "I will file my nomination on March 23 under this symbol (to contest the bypoll to the R K Nagar constituency)," he told reporters here. Dinakaran's response comes at a time when the rival O Panneerselvam camp last week submitted a petition to the Election Commission, requesting it to allot the 'two leaves' symbol to them for the bypoll. Asked how confident he was of winning the elections at a time when some AIADMK cadres had shifted their loyalties to the (former Chief Minister) Pannerselvam camp, he said, "Only 10 members had left the party.... 90 per cent of AIADMK supporters are with me." The April 12 bypoll to R K Nagar constituency was necessitated following the death of AIADMK Supremo J Jayalalithaa on December 5, 2016. The Panneerselvam camp had announced party veteran E Madhusudhanan as its candidate for the bypoll. AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala had on February 15 reinducted Dinkaran, her nephew and another relative S Venkatesh, into the party, five years after their expulsion by Jayalalithaa. She had announced that Dinakaran, a former Rajya Sabha member, was being appointed as AIADMK Deputy General Secretary. Dinakaran and Venkatesh, besides Sasikala and her husband M Natarajan, were expelled from the AIADMK in 2011 by Jayalalithaa amidst reports then that they interfered in party and government administration. Though she withdrew the "disciplinary action" against her close aide after Sasikala expressed regret, Jayalalithaa had however said that the expulsion of the rest would continue. Sasikala, co-accused Elvarasi and another nephew V N Sudhakaran are serving their terms at the central prison near Bengaluru in a disproportionate assets case.
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